In this guide, you’ll learn how to make your brand stand out and how to start building a brand strategy that sticks.
But there’s so much more to it. Now, I’m not here to complicate things for you. I just want you to think of your brand as an extension of you.
A brand is a company’s raison d’être expressed through marketing, product development, customer service and online presence.
In other words, it’s a company’s (your company’s) who, what, why, how and where.
Taking the time to develop a robust (and practical) brand strategy puts companies on a path to sustainable growth.
First things first: What is a brand strategy? Two words that are misused SO often.
A brand strategy is the plan you follow to keep your business oriented in the right direction as you grow.
Like any strategy geared towards business growth, a brand strategy should be:
And above all, it should be ambitious.
The ultimate goal of a brand strategy is to shape the audience’s perception of, and response to, the company.
Brand strategy and business strategy are inextricably linked.
The objectives that inform your brand strategy precipitate from high-level business goals.
And in reverse, every action that comes from the brand strategy should contribute to business growth.
So the business goals are the natural starting point when building the framework for a brand strategy.
High-level business goals should be ambitious and farsighted. For example:
- Lead the industry or niche
- Increase market share
- Grow profits
- Build brand recognition
- Serve the community better
These long-term goals become the company’s ‘north star’.
It can actually be a good thing if they are unquantifiable or unreachable because it means you never settle on success.
Brand objectives translate those lofty business goals into achievable targets.
Let’s take “lead the niche” as an example. The brand objectives that contribute to that goal might be:
- Grow social media following by 25% in 12 months
- Launch at least 1 new product or service every year
- Open an online store within 18 months
Goals are general; objectives are specific.
Each objective can be further broken down into step-by-step action plans that provide short-term KPIs.
But that’s a subject for another post (like this one about actionable strategies for social media branding).
For now, we’re going to stay focused on the components of a strategy that help your brand stand out in a competitive market.
How to build a strategy that makes your brand stand out
For best results, set aside 15 mins to focus, allowing your creativity and critical thinking to brew up the most YOUnique brand possible.
Step 1: Define your brand
What is your company’s core purpose? Where are you headed?
Before a brand strategy can justify the business’ reason for existing, all senior stakeholders need to agree on a clearly defined mission, vision, and values.
Step 2: Connect with customers
Customer-centric brand strategy means building a loyal community, not just getting eyes on your content.
Spend time getting to know your audience.
What makes them tick? What are their pain points? What do they desire? Who, where, and how old are they?
Step 3: Grow your brand, grow your business
Now it’s time to match your unique selling points with your audience’s needs.
Create a Venn diagram with your company on one side and the audience on the other.
Have you drawn it?
Good, now focus on the overlapping area.
If this guide helps you out, let me know! I would love to hear from you.
How your brand communicates – the tone of voice, tagline, content mix, personality and engagement frequency – all arise from where business objectives and audience needs overlap.
This communication part is the hardest part — so I recommend hiring an expert to help guide you, whether it be me or someone else.